After some recent fraud schemes were discovered in Lakeville, the police department shared some tips and best practices to avoid being a victim of a scam. Below is the information provided by Lakeville PD:
Lakeville Police Department often receives calls with complaints of tele-scams and email scams. These scams use clever tactics to obtain personal information from victims and/or convince victims to transfer money to accounts associated with the scam.
No one is immune. Individual victims, especially the elderly, businesses and non-profits, such as places of worship, have been scammed throughout the past year.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get your money back after you’ve been cheated over the phone or over email. Many of the scams use accounts that trace out of the country. We, as a local police department, don’t have the authority or ability to investigate those situations.
Even worse, some scams steal your identity, creating a litany of issues. On their website, the FBI lists some of the following tips for avoiding scam fraud. For additional information, please visit their website, www.fbi.gov.
• Always verify email addresses. Be sure to thoroughly check the address. If you don’t recognize an email address, don’t respond. Hit delete!
• Always double-check phone numbers. Verify a credit/debit card company’s number by looking at the back of your card. If you don’t have the card, search the company’s website. And remember that the IRS will NEVER call you!
• Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items
• Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”
• Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.
• Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.
• Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
• Don’t pay for a “free prize.” If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
• Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.
• Never respond to an offer or request you don’t understand thoroughly.
• Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
• Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.
• If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.
If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.